Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of General Cable (NYSE: BGC) jumped as much as 12.5% after the copper, aluminum, and fiber-optic wire and cable products manufacturer reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

So what: For the quarter, net income actually fell year over year from $0.70 to an adjusted profit of $0.48, while sales rose 7% to $1.43 billion. Despite the drop in income, a 3% increase in year-over-year metal pounds sold helped push the company past Wall Street's consensus estimates for a profit of $0.33 on sales of $1.4 billion. As icing on the cake, General Cable's second-quarter forecast remained upbeat, with the company expecting sales between $1.6 billion and $1.65 billion and EPS of $0.65-$0.75. The Street's expectations were EPS of $0.72 and revenue of $1.57 billion.

Now what: After missing Wall Street's estimates by a mile in the previous three quarters, this was a nice change of pace for General Cable, and it could signal that the company is righting itself. I do like the prospects for fiber-optic-related stock going forward, and at just 10 times forward earnings, General Cable should be on most value investors' radars. However, I will wait for one more quarter as confirmation that the company is back on the right track.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.